CORNING, N.Y. (WENY) -- The City of Corning says it has received reports of black bears roaming city neighborhoods. 

According to the Corning Police Department, sightings in the community began early this year, with reports coming in in February and March. In past years, sightings typically began in May. 

Police are encouraging everyone to follow guidelines set out by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Some of those guidelines include: 

  • Store garbage and bird seed in secure containers and keeping those containers in a secure place, such as a garage.? 
  • Put garbage out only on mornings when it is scheduled to be collected.? 
  • Only feed birds from December 1st, until April 1st.? 
  • Feed family pets indoors, and clean your grill after every use. 
  • Never approach a bear. Bears are large and powerful wild animals that act and react out of instinct

“A police officer might not always be able to respond to a bear sighting, but residents should still call the Corning Police Department so that we will have accurate data to share with DEC officials," said Corning Police Chief Jeff Spaulding.